Alabama Crimson Tide at Florida Gators Betting Preview
These two heavyweights in the SEC don’t meet every year, but the game typically impacts the College Football landscape when they do. The Tide and Gators met last December in Atlanta for the SEC Championship in Bama’s closest outcome of the season. The two teams combined to lose almost a dozen draft picks just on the offensive side of the ball, including seven first-rounders. The cupboard isn’t bare, though, as both coaches have talented young quarterbacks heading the attack in 2021.
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Alabama Crimson Tide Team Preview
Nick Saban has expressed his displeasure in his team’s practice habits after their Week 1 blowout win of Miami. One of the seven-time national champion’s biggest challenges in Alabama’s sustained success is maintaining the competitive edge even when the team is playing at a high level.
Bryce Young is currently the betting favorite to win the Heisman Trophy after starting the season with 500+ passing yards and seven touchdowns through the air, but the offense hasn’t been without flaw. The offensive line has been breaking in three new starters and has shown areas of weakness in both of the Tide’s first two games. Bama has scored more than 40 points in both contests, but watching the Tide, even a casual fan can see there’s room for improvement on that side of the ball.
Conversely, the defense has been outstanding but has been a victim of the injury bug. Senior pass rusher Chris Allen went down for the season on a strip-sack of Miami’s D’Eriq King in Week 1, and his running mate Will Anderson took a hit to the knee in Week 2. Anderson is expected to be available against the Gators, as are starting cornerbacks Josh Jobe and Jalyn Armour-Davis, who missed last week’s game. A healthy Tide defense should be one of the best in the entire country all season long.
Florida Gators Team Preview
The Gators have yet to be truly tested this season after beating in-state foes Florida Atlantic and South Florida in their first two games. Florida failed to cover in each of the two games after entering as more than a three-touchdown favorite.
Junior quarterback Emory Jones has taken the majority of the snaps behind center, but backup Anthony Richardson is the one that all Gator fans have been chomping at the bit to see more of. Richardson was a big play waiting to happen in Week 2 as he completed all three of his passing attempts, two of which went for touchdowns, and added a third touchdown on an impressive 80-yard run through the South Florida defense.
Todd Grantham’s defense has a number of All-SEC caliber players roaming around on that side of the ball. The pass rush is highlighted by Brenton Cox Jr., and the secondary is led by Kaiir Elam. The team took a big blow when leading tackler, Ventrell Miller, was announced to need bicep surgery, effectively ending his season.
Alabama has won seven straight games in this series, and all but the game last season have been decided by two touchdowns or more. This will be the first true big road test for many of the Tide’s players after a year with limited crowds a season ago. If Bryce Young and Alabama’s offense can take care of the ball, they should be able to score points on the board in Gainesville.
Alabama’s defense is going to cause headaches for most teams they face all season, and Florida being mostly one-dimensional will make for a long day. Expect the Tide to cover here and lean towards the under as the Gators are likely to find more success defensively than on offense.